Weidemann Has That Natural Leadership Ability, Cowgirls Recognized That Quickly
From the desk of Sean O'Sullivan/Wyoming Athletic Department
LARAMIE – Quinn Weidemann began her sophomore year with Cowgirls basketball by being voted a captain. The Omaha, Neb., native had not yet started a game for the Cowgirls, but her impact was already felt by her teammates.
During her freshman season, the Cowgirls had six seniors on the roster: Bailee Cotton, Marta Gomez, Clara Tapia, Sladjana Rakovic, Rachelle Tucker and Tijana Raca. Once they graduated, there was a hole in the leadership group that needed to be filled. Weidemann was happy her teammates chose her.
“I was really honored,” Weidemann said. “I thought that it was super cool that they all thought I could fill that position. So, I’d say honored would be a good word.”
Head coach Gerald Mattinson believes there are a few traits Weidemann possesses that guided her to the leadership group after just one season in Laramie. She works hard, leads by example and can be a friend for anyone around her.
“I think by being elected captain, what her teammates saw is her work ethic from day one,” Mattinson said. “She’s one of those people who basically puts forth the effort, shows the effort and demands the effort from others, and I think her teammates like and respect that. When she’s willing to do it herself, she can expect that of others, and her teammates appreciate that. She also has the ability to, I say, befriend everybody. She can talk to everybody, and she has a great personality to be able to do that. She can encourage kids when they need it, and give them a soft shoulder when they need that, too.”
Weidemann said she learned a lot from those six seniors during her freshman campaign. She saw that even though they had the seniority, they were always willing to do anything for the team.
“The most important thing is to do what you’re asking your teammates to do,” Weidemann said of what she learned from those seniors. “They did a good job of knowing everything, leading by example, and before they asked us to do anything, they did it themselves.”
Weidemann’s knack for leading by example was evident last season. In some of the biggest moments, she had her best games.
Against the Lobos in Albuquerque, Weidemann scored 15 points on just eight shot attempts. She also recorded a team-high four steals and dished out a pair of assists. At home against the defending Mountain West champion Boise State Broncos, Weidemann scored a game-high 19 points, including a halftime-buzzer-beating trey, and had three rebounds and three assists.
When facing the up-start San José State Spartans, Weidemann scored 14 points and had five assists without a single turnover. And on the road against “Border War” rival Colorado State, Weidemann poured in a game-high 13 points, including scoring 10 of Wyoming’s final 11 points to seal the important victory.
Weidemann has never had a problem showing up for the big games. The next step for her is becoming more of a vocal leader. That’s a step Mattinson believes she’s ready for.
“She’s been here now in the system for a couple years, and she understands it and feels more comfortable in the system,” Mattinson said. “We always talk about, as coaches, we want players to be more vocal or talk more on the court when you’re talking about offensive or defensive things. But we also say it’s really hard to speak when you’re not quite sure what you’re talking about.
“But where she is right now, she understands the expectations of conditioning, she understands the expectations of practice and she can be more vocal because she knows what she’s talking about. She has a good sense of when things aren’t going where they should, and on the other hand, know when they’re going where they should and be able to communicate that as well. I see her being more vocal with her experience and maturity.”
Weidemann is Wyoming’s active leader in games played, minutes played, points scored, assists and field goals made. She went from a bench player as a freshman to a starter as a sophomore, and now she’s ready to expand her leadership role in order to help the newcomers settle in.
With eight newcomers to the 2020-21 edition of the Cowgirls, now is the perfect time for Weidemann to make that leap to more of a vocal role. Among that group are six international students, a graduate transfer from Niagara, a former University of South Florida Bull and a total of six freshmen with no college experience.
“It’s important that, first of all, the returners also step up in a leadership role, even if they don’t think that they are, they need to step up for the eight newcomers,” Weidemann said. “Then, just help them as much as possible on and off the court.”
Having a player like Weidemann, who has been in the system for two years and knows the ins and outs of Cowgirl basketball, will pay dividends when it comes to getting the eight new players ready for the season. Weidemann has been in their shoes and has seen what having capable leaders can do to help newcomers.
“We have eight newcomers, and their heads are going to be spinning,” Mattinson said. “They are right now, they’re on campus, and there’s a lot of things coming at them with getting meals, getting from place “A” to place “B,” and so forth. When we get a chance to put them with our returners, especially someone like Quinn, she’ll be able to reach out to them and make sure they get what they need, whether its directions, or a teammate type of thing letting them know ‘we’ve all gone through this.’ She’ll be able to be kind of a teacher on the court. She understands what we’re doing, she can help them since she understands defensively and offensively what we’re doing, so it give them and it gives us another resource to rely on.”
Weidemann is one of three Cowgirls, along with Jaye Johnson and Tommi Olson, who stayed in Laramie this summer working out with the Wyoming staff. The rest of the Cowgirls arrived in Laramie on Sunday and are following Wyoming Athletics’ protocols for self-isolation.